Building endurance

Need some suggestions for building muscle endurance. I notice that after about an hour of paddling on a reasonably calm lake I’m basically worn out and have to call it a day.

Unfortunately I am only able to paddle about once a week right now due to schedules, but can hit the gym late at night several times a week.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Wall Pulleys

– Last Updated: Apr-24-06 10:46 PM EST –

using an angle to simulate your stroke as much as possible. High reps & low wt. Standing rather than sitting may get the legs involved & higher heart rate.

Addendum: I failed to add that these should be done one arm at a time in order that the torso is properly involved. Torso movement may be emphazed with the pulleys, pulling & pulling.

First impression

– Last Updated: Apr-24-06 3:54 PM EST –

you must learn to paddle from your abdomen, not from your arms. Which muscles are getting tired? if it's not your gut, lats, and pecs you are not paddling right. Nobody can arm paddle for all that long.

Get lessons from an accomplished paddler, and/ or See Brent Reitz(?sp) video on the forward stroke or Greg barton's video. Both are available here at the store!

As mentioned above, learn to rotate that torso. You ought to almost be able to keep your arms locked straight (not really, but a good way to learn). Most kayakers, even many racers, just don’t get it. It will help a bunch!

cross train
Row, bike, run. Repeat as necessary.


I bought a Concept II Rower

– Last Updated: Apr-24-06 4:12 PM EST –

Although not precisely the same action as rowing, very helpful indeed. Here's the helpful archived thread, and as you see, many on pnet are avid users of this device (including afolpe). See if you gym has or will get one.

Also, assure that your rowing technique is efficient; I think the Brent Reitz forward stroke DVD on pnet merchadise is very helpful; I have watched it several times and always learn something each time.

Sit up, and torso rotation (to use the core muscles, abdominals and latissumus muscles) are key to endurance and the smaller muscle groups of the arms/shoulder girdle are low endurance muscles groups.

Good luck and good paddling.

Gradually increase…
… time and distance.

Or do what I used to do when I first started venturing farther from the put in: Paddle until your arms/shoulders are worn out - then paddle back! Teaches torso leg power the hard way. The videos mentioned above are a safer shortcut.

All aerobic work that builds your base will help. Working on technique and aerobic base will aid your endurance more than bulk - but some extra power on top of that is always nice too.

If you want to keep it simple - run/cycle and do a variety of push-ups and throw in some pull ups.

If you take the advice to use a rowing machine, or use weights, be sure to pay attention to your recovery times for different muscle groups. You want to be fully recovered (post workout soreness gone) if you want to get the most from your paddling time/on-water training and technique work.

Building muscle endurance
Incorporating the suggestions above, do a 45 to 60 minute workout six days a week. Include two weight lifting sessions per week for core and upper/lower body to increase strength. For aerobic conditioning, 4-5 days a week, use a rowing machine initially set on light weight with steady cadence, and then incorporate intervals alternating increased weight and then increased cadence. For cross training sessions, swim, bike, run, whatever you enjoy. Needless to say, paddle on the water whenever you can. Each week do a long, slow session of easy paddling (swimming, biking, running, what you enjoy). If you do not have a heart monitor, invest in one and learn to use it.

Wall Pushoffs
This exercise was cited in Kayaker magazine and Outdoors magazine as a great exercise for folks wanting to build up strength.

Get a std. hallway, place your heels at the base and lean fwd with your hands shoulder height on the other wall…push off.

I do 3 sets of 30 daily…

That said: I truly believe there’s a lot to be said for the correct paddling technique allowing a paddler to be able to paddle farther with less effort.

Good form and
workout with a heart rate monitor. For building your endurance, do your training at between 60 and 80% of your maximum heart rate. To get an approxiamate number for your max hear rate, subtract your age from 220. Then train at 60-80% of that number. This is only approxiamate for max heart rate but it will get you on the right track.

Cheers…Joe O’

Use of multiple muscle groups
The more muscle groups recruited the better for endurance. Spreading out the load over the torso, hips, and legs allows each muscle to do less of the total work in powering you forward.

It also has a hidden benefit, in that your entire body becomes conditioned rather than simply working on bigger triceps, the cost of pulling too hard rather than rotating. Eventually this becomes a positive spiral, and you are able to do much longer days with less and less fatigue.

This is the synergy of efficiency, performance, and conditioning that makes for a great time out there. I should know, I am in my fifties, and have had a much stronger lower body from cycling and backpacking, hiking, etc. I am quite puny with respect to most of my fellow paddlers, but do OK out there by paying attention to all this stuff.

Torso vs arms
Ok, I don’t get it. When I was in PT school, a long time ago, we were taught that the abdominal muscles moved the spine, & were postural & stabilizer muscles, which provide a stable base for the prime movers, the arms and legs. With a short bit of “research” in my newer books & on the web, I could find nothing to say otherwise.

Can anyone provide the info that I was looking for?

Find some videos of kayak (and canoe, for that matter) racing - you’ll pick up on it pretty darn quick. The “root” of the movement has to come from the area just above your belt in either boat. The better you learn to do it the faster and further you can go. The folks out there winning races in skis and ICF boats are twisting so far that their shoulders are more or less parallel to the centerline of their boats.

The way to build endurance is to leave nothing on the river. Totally exhausted until getting out of the boat is a great effort. The same goes for the stepper at the gym. And heed by hammer nutrition is excellent race and training fuel, then whey protein smoothie or recoverite. Get tired,fuel up rest. Maybe a swim in the pool and enjoy a hike up a small mt or big hill. Hang around people who are in shape and eat right.

Rowing machine
You can even pick up a cheap rowing machine used for less than $50 if your gym doesn’t have one. Rowing is easy to do on rainy dayts when you don’t want to go out and walk/run

What He Said
If you can’t go longer, by all means go harder. GPS is a good motivator.

You speak true
But you should also know from PT school that the elbow should remain in front of the torso, to keep the shoulder in a stable position. In order to produce an efficient paddle stroke, the torso must be turned with each stroke to keep the elbow in front and the shoulder stable and effective. You actually do pull with the biceps/shoulder to an extent, but you also use the torso to distribute the work to more muscles, therby increasing efficiency and endurance.

Use a 20" heavy chain saw, and cut
your winters heating supply of wood, which is on a 30 degree forested slope.

Then split the 20" diameter oak, sycamor, locusts, and mockernut chunks using a sledge hammer, and iron wedges and a maul.

Then haul and stack each chunk about fifty yards.

Works wonder for every muscle in the body and keeps you young too.



Oh yes
And paddle 6 miles to school everyday. Upstream both ways!

It is all in the words…
And I thought this thread was all about the endurance needed to build my next kayak?